Rawen Yasser | Unsplash.com | journeying in the desert

“The hero’s journey always begins with the call. One way or another, a guide must come to say, ‘Look, you’re in Sleepy Land. Wake. Come on a trip. There is a whole aspect of your consciousness, your being, that’s not been touched. So you’re at home here? Well, there’s not enough of you there.’ And so it starts.”–Joseph Campbell.

They have vaccinated you, now what? This is the question of the hour as all of us get closer to having received our shots. We aren’t immune. But if we get covid, we expect to survive. But we want to think we are immune because we are so tired of being limited in what we can do. We just want to go out and celebrate. We want to burn our masks and get on with our lives. But we can’t do that because not everyone is vaccinated and new variants are still appearing and spreading.

I hesitate to take my first road trip tomorrow. This hesitancy is part fear of covid and part fear of what I will find when I travel. What will be open? Traveling in Western New Mexico and Eastern Arizona at the best of times is an adventure. You learn to never pass up gas stations, always travel with water and snacks and time your meals for when you are near a town. The west is still an unpopulated area. Towns are few and are not situated for modern travel times between stops. During March and April, you have to worry about winds and blinding dust storms.

But, despite all these unknowns, I am going to pack my car and leave for Phoenix tomorrow to see my son and his family. It will be an adventure since I haven’t driven over 20 miles in a day for over a year. 350+ miles will seem like forever. No radio, not even bad western songs along most of the way. Just open space with a highway as far as you can see in the distance. I think I will count the cars between here and the Arizona border just to keep occupied. My son called and offered to fly me to Phoenix, concerned about my ability to drive that far in one day, but I declined. Thirty minutes later, he called and offered to fly over and ride with me. Again, I defined. Tomorrow I will find out if I was right.

I no longer have duplicate travel bags like I did when I was working and traveling frequently. L had to plan everything to ensure I had the right things when I arrived. Here is my travel list for post pandemic travel.

 Pack clothes

 Pack infusion Meds, if I will stay over on a Friday.

 Pack daily meds and vitamins

 Pack water and snacks

 Pack laptop, iPad, and phone (fully charged)

 Start with a full tank of gas (never let it get below 1/4)

Here is the travel day plan.

Get up, make coffee

Pack car

Drive to Deming for an hour 

Stop for breakfast

Drive for a 5 hour stint with stretching breaks and a snack

Drive another couple of hours to my son’s house in Phoenix

Because Covid Still exists, I will continue to wear my mask when I stop. Wash my hands often and stay out of sizeable crowds. My son and I will play golf during my stay. A lot of visiting and some home cooking.

Since Phoenix is the shopping capital of the world, I may look for some walking shoes. I might go overboard and get dress slacks and a blue blazer. 

Being human, I will no doubt wonder the entire time I am gone whether I am really safe. It will take a while for us to feel safe as we venture out into the world. 

“It is confidence in our bodies, minds, and spirits that allows us to keep looking for new adventures, new directions to grow in, and new lessons to learn—which is what life is all about.”–Oprah Winfrey.